The ultimate challenge: How can we measure what a place means to a visitor?
We are just passing that time of year when my team at The Trustees of Reservations transitions out of our high season and into the relative quiet of the winter. With a busy program season for our historic homes from around April to October and a budget planning season starting in December, I have about two months in the fall to review all of the data that we have collected. I use the information to determine where I will allocate staff and resources for the next year, what the key promotional opportunities might be, and what projects will become priorities for our winter fundraising efforts.
Being able to do this thoughtfully and comprehensively is critical to my programs and, more importantly, to the people we serve. Continue reading
"Tunnel Vision. At the Gerber/Hart Library in Chicago. Ben Seidelman, 2011"
Nearly thirty years ago, a small collective of twenty- and thirty-something LGBT activists in Chicago founded the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives. Active in the Gay Liberation movement and other social protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s, these grassroots historians collected LGBT materials and reclaimed the past as part of the production of a proud political identity. In this way, the founders of Gerber/Hart reflected a broader movement within marginalized communities to establish democratic archival collectives in order to claim authority over their historical narratives and material heritage.
Thirty years later, the collections at Gerber/Hart have fallen into such disarray that researchers report that the library cannot even provide a list of its collections. Continue reading